Another Oil Topic Anyone?

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miken
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Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by miken » Wed Aug 11, 2021 7:41 pm

Hi all, I have been struggling with oil. I have read countless posts on many forums and still am not sure what to buy for my Atlas 12" with Timkin bearings. The manual calls for basic SAE 20 Oil, which is apparently the same as ISO68, which is the same as Vactra2. BobD on this forum gave me some Vactra 2 (appreciate that Bob), and I can find more of that pretty easily. I have read however that I should not use way oil for the spindle bearings, but all the "spindle oils" I can find are thinner than SAE20 or ISO68. Mobile Velocite 10 is only ISO22. Mobile DTE 26 is ISO68, but listed as a "hydraulic" oil and I have read hydraulic oil is not lubricating (or machine) oil. This is crazy. I finally found some plain-old SAE20 non-detergent from McMaster-Carr, but it is either called Motor Oil, Engine Oil, or Compressor Oil, maybe there isn't a difference? Doesn't really matter, I am not waiting 6-8 weeks for delivery anyway.

So my questions; are the people recommending Velocite 10 or DTE 24 using Timkin bearings or bushings? I just want to use the lathe, and have been using SAE30 non-detergent "motor oil" and Zoom Spout Machine/Turbine Oil (which I think is lighter than 10) for short periods of time and not really feeling great about it.

I know opinions vary on this topic greatly, but still I am hoping for someone to tell me what to buy. I am exhausted from internet searching. :D
I honestly doubt the previous owner stressed much about this. I think he used car engine oil, looked that way to me.

I actually have two manuals which is confusing. I have a model 3990, serial 003321 (anyone know the year built?). The manual which includes my model in the list on the cover is dated March 1964 and does not show Timkin bearings in the parts diagram, it shows them as bushings in the pictures and calls them out as "bearings", key number 23 & 24, part 10A-11C & 10A-9C. The other manual is for models 3995 and 3996 dated January, 1969. The parts diagram clearly shows my 3990 model and depicts Timkin bearings, Key 23 & 24, part 045-027 & 045-026. Regarding the gears; the 1969 manual says "a small amount of SAE30 or grease (we recommend Keystone 122....) The manual from 1964 says lubricate gear teeth with Keystone 122 lubricant, or equivalent, to obtain a smoother or more quiet operation. Which implies use oil unless you want it quieter. So I am still on the fence about using grease.

I'm not sure, but I think if you put a 3990 underdrive on the metal cabinet base it became a 3996 and they were called pedestal lathes.

Also, there are conflicting opinions on the use of felts in the bearing gits oilers. Some say they aren't needed and to just add a few drops of oil in them every time you use the lathe. Others say you really should use them to meter the oil supply to the bearing. Apparently felt disks did not appear in the Atlas manuals until the late 60's, but they were supposedly always supplied? My 1964 manual does not show the felt disks, but my 1969 manual does (key number 33A, part 557-097 Plug Felt. Some say wad up some cotton, some say use wool. Any help here would be appreciated as well. I am hesitant to add them as I don't really know what to purchase and don't want to block the oil flow.

Thanks in advance to anyone who read this and is willing to help. Sorry so long.
Mike -
12" Atlas Commercial (3990) 12" Back Geared, Undermount, Screw Cutting Lathe with Quick Change Gear Box (6802), Universal Compound X-Y Vise (1614), Taper (6822), Milling (500A) and Grinding Attachments (10-450)

John Evans
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by John Evans » Wed Aug 11, 2021 10:41 pm

Plain bearing Atlas are early-mid 30s . I have had a half a dozen Atlas/craftsman lathes over the years with the Timken bearings and all had felts in the Gits oilers. Roller bearings do not need much oil ,your choice get some FELT [not wadded up cotton balls etc] or give it a shot of oil every time you use the lathe. 20 weight NON DET. motor/engine whatever will work just fine. You are over thinking this. Personally I have been using tractor fluid [iso 32 if I remember right] for everything but ways for years, QC box feed/lead screw bushings/bearings etc. For the gears on the end of the head stock you might try using way oil there as it will stay on a bit better than regular oil. As far as I'm concerned grease is not a good answer as it tends to collect chips and dirt. ANY OIL IS BETTER THAN NONE !!!. Felt used for way wipers or oil metering is almost always WOOL felt. As I recall the first year for Timken bearings was 1939 ! If you do not wish to buy a gallon of tractor fluid [has anti wear and foaming additives] Good old 20 non det. will work just fine. Oil is a lot cheaper than repair parts use LOTS !!!

Plain non pressure lubed bearings like very thin oil like the Velocite 10 . That is the usual recommendation for South Bend lathes which are plain bearings.
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Harold_V
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by Harold_V » Thu Aug 12, 2021 1:50 am

Felt in oilers helps keep grit from getting to the bearings, and somewhat meters the oil. I strongly recommend it be installed.
Within the past year I rebuilt an old #2 Cincinnati cutter grinder. I installed felt in all of the oilers, while none were there previously.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

earlgo
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by earlgo » Thu Aug 12, 2021 9:29 am

FWIW The model 3983 Atlas that I have is serial 001344 and was sold in Ohio in 1958. I don't recall it ever having felts in the oilers.
--earlgo
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

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miken
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by miken » Thu Aug 12, 2021 12:14 pm

John Evans wrote:
Wed Aug 11, 2021 10:41 pm
Plain bearing Atlas are early-mid 30s . I have had a half a dozen Atlas/craftsman lathes over the years with the Timken bearings and all had felts in the Gits oilers. Roller bearings do not need much oil ,your choice get some FELT [not wadded up cotton balls etc] or give it a shot of oil every time you use the lathe. 20 weight NON DET. motor/engine whatever will work just fine. You are over thinking this. Personally I have been using tractor fluid [iso 32 if I remember right] for everything but ways for years, QC box feed/lead screw bushings/bearings etc. For the gears on the end of the head stock you might try using way oil there as it will stay on a bit better than regular oil. As far as I'm concerned grease is not a good answer as it tends to collect chips and dirt. ANY OIL IS BETTER THAN NONE !!!. Felt used for way wipers or oil metering is almost always WOOL felt. As I recall the first year for Timken bearings was 1939 ! If you do not wish to buy a gallon of tractor fluid [has anti wear and foaming additives] Good old 20 non det. will work just fine. Oil is a lot cheaper than repair parts use LOTS !!!

Plain non pressure lubed bearings like very thin oil like the Velocite 10 . That is the usual recommendation for South Bend lathes which are plain bearings.
Thanks for the replies. I do know I am over-thinking this.

Ok, so plain bearings (bushings) like thin oils like Velocite 10 spindle oil (or ISO32). Timkin roller bearings should use SAE20 non-detergent (which I can't really find), so use an ISO68 hydraulic oil. So I am thinking Mobil DTE26 (ISO68) is a good choice. It is non-detergent with anti-wear. Lock it down, moving on.

I plan to use the felts, I will have to find some and run some tests I guess to be sure it flows.

Thanks again, Mike -
12" Atlas Commercial (3990) 12" Back Geared, Undermount, Screw Cutting Lathe with Quick Change Gear Box (6802), Universal Compound X-Y Vise (1614), Taper (6822), Milling (500A) and Grinding Attachments (10-450)

Harold_V
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by Harold_V » Thu Aug 12, 2021 3:48 pm

miken wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 12:14 pm
I plan to use the felts, I will have to find some and run some tests I guess to be sure it flows.
Heh! When's the last time you saw oil that didn't? Felt is just a fine filter. Unless plugged by contaminants, there's no way in hell it will contain oil.

I just re-assembled an old three phase half horse motor that I removed from my Sunnen hone in favor of a single phase motor. It's at least 50 years old. The bearings are surrounded by felt, with wicks that make contact with the shaft of the armature. One is advised to add a teaspoon of oil after two years of operation, or a teaspoon of oil annually if the motor is operated 24/7. The shaft displays NO sign of wear.

The felt serves a dual purpose. It is the reservoir that keeps the oil from transmitting contaminants to the bearing, and it meters the oil so it doesn't just run through the bearing and to waste. By sharp contrast, I'm scrapping a 3/4 horse motor that lacks the felt, as the bearing surfaces (on the shaft) are worn badly.

Felt will not stop oil from flowing unless you use the wrong oil. Vactra is such an oil. The (one shot) oiling system used on Bridgeports will eventually stop passing oil because the miniscule felt filter in the meters gets plugged by varnish. This is a commonly known problem, one I experienced when my BP was inactive for several years.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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miken
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by miken » Thu Aug 12, 2021 7:31 pm

Harold_V wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 3:48 pm
miken wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 12:14 pm
I plan to use the felts, I will have to find some and run some tests I guess to be sure it flows.
Heh! When's the last time you saw oil that didn't? Felt is just a fine filter. Unless plugged by contaminants, there's no way in hell it will contain oil.

I just re-assembled an old three phase half horse motor that I removed from my Sunnen hone in favor of a single phase motor. It's at least 50 years old. The bearings are surrounded by felt, with wicks that make contact with the shaft of the armature. One is advised to add a teaspoon of oil after two years of operation, or a teaspoon of oil annually if the motor is operated 24/7. The shaft displays NO sign of wear.

The felt serves a dual purpose. It is the reservoir that keeps the oil from transmitting contaminants to the bearing, and it meters the oil so it doesn't just run through the bearing and to waste. By sharp contrast, I'm scrapping a 3/4 horse motor that lacks the felt, as the bearing surfaces (on the shaft) are worn badly.

Felt will not stop oil from flowing unless you use the wrong oil. Vactra is such an oil. The (one shot) oiling system used on Bridgeports will eventually stop passing oil because the miniscule felt filter in the meters gets plugged by varnish. This is a commonly known problem, one I experienced when my BP was inactive for several years.

H
Thanks Harold, that is good to know. Any recommendation on where to get the right felt?

[edit] I just read your write up on grinding from back in 2007. Much appreciated info. I do have a grinder and a couple wheels I've had for 20 years, but I never considered what they are made of or the grit, and I haven't actually tried grinding a new HSS tool. I have only touched one up that came with the lathe. So much to learn . . .

Thanks, Mike -
12" Atlas Commercial (3990) 12" Back Geared, Undermount, Screw Cutting Lathe with Quick Change Gear Box (6802), Universal Compound X-Y Vise (1614), Taper (6822), Milling (500A) and Grinding Attachments (10-450)

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Bill Shields
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by Bill Shields » Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:03 pm

I use an old cut up hat on my loco bearings based on recomendation from a good friend who has been doing it for 50+ years.

McMaster carr is a good source for those applications too ungainly for a hat to supply
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

Harold_V
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by Harold_V » Fri Aug 13, 2021 1:41 am

What Bill said.
The felt I used for the cutter grinder isn't wool. It's what was left over after applying felt bases on a pair of bronze busts I have sitting on the JBL Paragon speaker system in my stereo room. It was procured from Michael's, the craft supply store. My thoughts were that it was better than doing nothing, and I was in the throes of assembling the machine when I made the decision to add the filters.

Cutter grinders make a lot of fine dust particles, some of which is bound to get in the oilers, in spite of the covers. By installing the felt, I suspect I'll limit the dreadful wear that had occurred to the lead screw/nut assembly on the saddle.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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miken
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by miken » Fri Aug 13, 2021 1:31 pm

Bill Shields wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:03 pm
I use an old cut up hat on my loco bearings based on recomendation from a good friend who has been doing it for 50+ years.

McMaster carr is a good source for those applications too ungainly for a hat to supply
I found some felt from a door seal, cut a plug and pushed it down into the bottom of a small funnel. I added some oil and it dripped out about one drop every 10 seconds or so. I emptied pretty quick so I will just consider it a filter rather than a metering device. :D

Thanks again, Mike -
12" Atlas Commercial (3990) 12" Back Geared, Undermount, Screw Cutting Lathe with Quick Change Gear Box (6802), Universal Compound X-Y Vise (1614), Taper (6822), Milling (500A) and Grinding Attachments (10-450)

Mr Ron
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by Mr Ron » Fri Aug 13, 2021 2:22 pm

I believe the reason for different oil recommendations is: As newer models of machines are produced, oil is undergoing constant improvement. Therefore as a new machine model come out, they will recommend the latest oil.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

pete
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Re: Another Oil Topic Anyone?

Post by pete » Fri Aug 13, 2021 3:53 pm

Like just about anything else, the felt used on machine tools as either oil strainers or way wipers has specifications for it's density and thickness. https://sutherlandfelt.com/quality-reso ... ion-chart/ Fabric stores aren't likely to carry what we might require. Afaik oil viscosity or "weight" is a factor of the rotating parts exact clearances. Too thick / thin then the proper oil wedge doesn't properly form to prevent the metal to metal contact. I've learned enough to not second guess what the OEM manufacturer has to say about the recommended lube. Oil is cheap, having to replace or rebuild spindles and bearings would buy a few lifetimes worth of the correct oil.

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